Generally, NPR does a pretty good job of presenting the news. But the story circulating on NPR outlets about EPA cuts in Puget Sound miss some very important information. Namely, that the $28 million spent in just one year by the EPA on Puget Sound restoration is being badly and sadly misspent. The $655,000 budgeted for the illegal and nasty attack on farmers called What's Upstream is just one example. We looked at other projects included in the $18 million National Estuary Program grant provided to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and found it very difficult, if not impossible, to determine any environmental benefit. For example, a significant amount of money was spent on the "tribal journey" where tribal members go out in canoes and do water sampling. But getting the results of that water sampling required several hours of work. And what is this used for? Other projects create similar questions.
What troubles us, is not only is this money being used for overtly political purposes and attacking our farmers, it is not going where there is accountability and where it can do some good. In defending himself against our complaint that he violated state laws, former EPA Region 10 Administrator said that the EPA had no control over how the tribes spent the money they were granted. Seriously. So a very large portion of the EPA "environmental" money (remember, it is our money) goes where those who get it can do whatever they want with it.
Where is NPR on this side of the story? Why not look into where all that money is going and if we are getting a reasonable environmental return?
Another story being used by those opposed to the much-needed changes in the EPA is about new legislation blocking "secret science." This is EXACTLY the problem with the use of "science" by Region 10 in the Yakima dairy situation. Not only did the "science" they created violate all rules of science, the EPA intentionally withheld it from experts and then refused to allow critical comments to be publicly presented.
There's much more to the story of EPA abuse that needs to be told. Too bad we can't count on our major news outlets to tell it.
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